Duress – Ixalan
(Originally from Urza’s Saga 1998)

Date Reviewed:Sept. 28, 2017

Constructed: 3.67
Casual: 3.25
Limited: 2.75
Multiplayer: 2.00
Commander [EDH]: 2.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average.  5 is great.


David Fanany
Player since 1995

We’ve seen many different versions of Duress by now, in many different environments, and it’s often easy to forget that it was originally a Phyrexian-themed spell from Urza’s Saga. On paper, it is perhaps less powerful in modern Standard environments where more of the power is in creatures. In practice, almost every deck has at least some non-creature spells and needs them for its game plan – a dinosaur deck might technically kill you with creatures, but a lot of its power comes from ramp cards like Pillar of Origins. Although it performs best against reactive decks and decks that rely on combos, there are few matchups where it won’t live up to its name to at least some extent.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5
EDH/Commander: 2/5

James H.

An oldie, but a goodie. Duress has always been at least vaguely playable, even if its actual usefulness falls below Thoughtseize. The rise of creatures overall in Magic has meant that there are fewer targets for Duress to pick off, and it may find itself without targets in Limited formats (though it can hit Vehicles). But if you need an extra discard spell with a bit of precision, you can’t go too wrong with Duress.

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 2
Commander: 2.5